Eager Anticipation

We can so easily get caught up in the hustle and bustle of preparing for parties and presents at this time of the year that we forget to prepare our hearts for the arrival of our Savior. In my dear husband’s message this past Sunday, he shared four ways we can prepare spiritually with eager anticipation.

We know how to bake, shop, wrap, and celebrate, but how do we prepare our hearts for  the celebration of our Savior’s birth?

1. Live in humble repentance – Most of us like to believe that we are basically pretty good people. We look around at other people and determine that we’re “not so bad.” However, we’ve been called by grace to a Savior, who loves us and gave up everything to provide for our forgiveness. He longs for us to recognize our wrong-doing, repent, and receive the restoration of His healing grace.

2. Live in unity – We live in a world of haves and have nots. Once again we are called by grace to a different standard. We are called to glorify and worship the Lord with one heart and one voice without prejudice or favoritism.

May God, who gives you this endurance and encouragement, allow you to live in harmony with each other by following the example of Christ Jesus. Then, having the same goal, you will praise the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Romans 15:5-6 (GW)

3. Live in hope – The holidays are a very difficult time for those of us who are ill, impoverished, grieving, or lonely. So many are going through times of sadness and suffering, but Jesus promised to be with us. He promised to never leave us nor forsake us.

Jesus said,  “And remember that I am always with you until the end of time.” Matthew 28:20b (GW)

4. Live in love – This anonymous note arrived recently in the Advancement Department at the Seminary where my husband works. The following words were penned in what appeared to be a young woman’s handwriting:

I recently celebrated my birthday. My parents, who have experienced severe financial setbacks, gave me money as a gift. It was difficult to accept, knowing that it is an extreme sacrifice for them but it would hurt them not to. So with great love, I forward the money to you to use for others. (smiley face) God is so good!

Inside the envelope was $50 cash, with no signature or return address.

“I’m giving you a new commandment: Love each other in the same way that I have loved you. Everyone will know that you are my disciples because of your love for each other.” John 13:34-35 (GW)

“Humbly repenting, standing together united, strengthened through hope, and sharing His love!” Waiting with eager anticipation!

Wishing you and your families a beautiful Christmas!

4 Responses to Eager Anticipation
  1. Kimberly
    December 24, 2010 | 4:35 pm

    Beautiful reminders. You are so right…we know very well how to prepare for all of our holiday festivities. May we each one make sure we also prepare our hearts for our King.

    Merry Christmas, Deb!

    • Deb
      December 27, 2010 | 11:54 am

      I hope you enjoyed a blessed Christmas, Kimberly. Ours was more quiet than usual due to the snow which gave us the perfect opportunity to focus on our King. Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts. Blessings!!

  2. Barbie
    December 25, 2010 | 8:56 am

    This was so great. I have been caught up in the hustle and bustle and now that Christmas is here, have I prepared my heart? There is still time! Blessings to you!

    • Deb
      December 27, 2010 | 11:55 am

      Blessings to you as well Barbie! I hope your Christmas celebration was filled with joy!!